Title: Shadow & Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha, #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
I have not read any Young Adult for at least a year, maybe even longer. I definitely wanted to get back to Young Adult, because I know there are so many great ones, not to be missed. To get out of my Young Adult reading slump I decided to go for The Grisha Series. I've been seeing 4-5 star reviews like everywhere, barely heard a bad thing about it. I was prepared to be amazed and I'm a hard cookie to please these days. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! Where has this book been on my life? Well, I guess on my TBR for the past two years.
SHADOW AND BONE has everything you are looking for in a Young Adult book! A strong heroine, epic fantasy setting, amazing writing and dialogue, all the main/side characters are awesome, heartwarming love interest story, and psycho psycho that you love to hate. Well, maybe I'm not usually looking for all these things in a Young Adult book, but I'm glad SHADOW AND BONE had all these elements! This story is about the greed for great power and using it to control and the world. We have the Grisha with special powers. Our heroine, Alina is a sun summoner which is really rare and she is the salvation of everyone, but The Darkling plans to use her to for his own personal plans. I'm not going to really go into summary mode, because it will probably take me all day.
I loved Alina. She was a strong heroine and was able to hide her Grisha abilities for a long time for the hope to stay with her childhood friend, Mal. But she ends up saving his life with her powers and gets found out and get taken to be trained with her new powers. The world of the Grisha was beautiful, but everyone has their own agenda, you can't really trust anyone. Although I didn't really get to get to know Mal too much until we got more than halfway though the book, I loved him and his gentleness and love for Alina. It makes you want to root for him.
Now, The Darkling. I hear everywhere that readers love him and consider this a love triangle between them and everything. And I just don't get where that is coming from. In the beginning we don't really know much about him. He is mysterious and that's what truly drew me in about him. But when we find out what his real agenda is and see how he truly is by the end of the book, I wanted to stab him in the eye. I have had my share of love interests that love the heroine but are really evil. From what I have read it seems like The Darkling's only agenda is enslaving Alina and he only wants her for her powers. But I have seen the cruelness and evilness in him. So, right now he isn't a love interest to me.
Right now at this point I have finished the book. Seriously you shouldn't read this book at work. It got so good, and then my lunch break was over. I ran into the bathroom to finish reading it. I got all happy and excited and angry and enraged and went into my fangirling mode! This was just one damn fine epic book. I'm glad I read it and I'm glad this is the book I chose to get my out of my Young Adult reading slump. And I am fucking starting the next book ASAP, because I just have to know what happens next. If you haven't read this series yet, do yourself a favor and read it.